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DOL/OS RIN: 1290-AA26 Publication ID: Fall 2011 
Title: Rules of Practice and Procedure for Administrative Hearings Before the Office of Administrative Law Judges 
Abstract: The Rules of Practice and Procedure for Administrative Hearings Before the Office of Administrative Law Judges, 29 CFR part 18, subpart A, provide procedural guidance to administrative law judges, claimants, employers, and Department of Labor representatives seeking to resolve disputes under a variety of employment and labor laws. The Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) promulgated these regulations in 1983. The rules were modeled on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Federal Rules) and have proved extraordinarily helpful in providing litigants with familiar rules governing hearing procedure. Since 1983, the Federal Rules have been amended many times. Moreover, in 2007 the Federal Rules were given a complete revision to improve style and clarity. The nature of litigation has also changed in the past 27 years, particularly in the areas of discovery and electronic records. Thus, OALJ needs to revise the part 18, subpart A rules to make them more accessible and useful to parties, and to harmonize administrative hearing procedures with the current Federal Rules. Our goal is amending the regulations to provide clarity through the use of consistent terminology, structure, and formatting so that parties have clear direction when pursuing or defending against a claim. In addition to revising the regulations to conform to modern legal procedure, the rules need to be modified to reflect the types of claims now heard by OALJ. When the rules were promulgated in 1983, OALJ primarily adjudicated occupational disease and injury cases. Presently, and looking ahead to the future, OALJ is and will be increasingly tasked with hearing whistleblower and other workplace retaliation claims, in addition to the occupational disease and injury cases. These types of cases require more structured management and oversight by the presiding administrative law judge and more sophisticated motions and discovery procedures than our current regulations provide. In order to best manage the complexities of whistleblower and discrimination claims, OALJ needs to update its rules to address the procedural questions that arise in these cases. 
Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Info./Admin./Other 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Undetermined  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 29 CFR 18A     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 5 USC 553    5 USC 554    5 USC 556    5 USC 557    5 USC 571 et seq   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  04/00/2012    
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Nikkia Wharton
Department of Labor
Office of the Secretary
800 K Street NW., Suite 400N,
Washington, DC 20001-8002
Phone:202 693-7542
Email: wharton.nikkia@dol.goc

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